Friday, October 29, 2010

G4S drivers protest pay and conditions



DRIVERS of international security service company, G4S, protested yesterday over what they claim was low pay, unpaid allowances and other entitlements, The National reports.

There was a commotion at the Pacific Corps car park in downtown Port Moresby when disgruntled drivers smashed cartons of tinned fish and biscuits meant to be their lunch.

They are engaged with G4S as drivers for both nationals and expatriates working in the PNG LNG project.

The drivers questioned their pay and demanded answers from G4S administration.

A driver, who requested anonymity, said: “We work as security guards and drivers, yet our pay does not show we are working for a multi-billion dollar LNG project.

“Hau na ol security long Tari kisim moa lo mipla? Mipla wokman blo LNG tu (How is it that guards at Tari get more than us? We are LNG workers too).”

It was observed that the guards wanted to speak out on the matter but feared repercussions and decided to remain tightlipped when approached by reporters to speak.

At one instance, some guards got so worked up that they threatened to remove their uniforms and walk off.

The National was told to stay outside the fence of the premises, with G4S staff saying it was a “minor issue” and a consensus was being worked out with no need for publicity.

After some convincing, the striking workers gathered the remains of their scattered lunch and peacefully resumed work.

G4S fleet manager Brendan Bakani, when contacted, said he was not aware of the incident.

He later said a meeting had been held by concerned stakeholders in the morning.

Esso Highlands Ltd’s government and corporate affairs manager Miles Shaw, when contacted, said ExxonMobil operation was not affected.

Shaw said it was a matter between G4S and its drivers.

He also said ExxonMobil had a contract agreement with G4S to provide drivers for its operation, and nothing was affected yesterday.



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